Pharyngitis is defined as an infection or inflammation of the pharynx which is common in children.
Symptoms usually vary depending on whether it is a viral or bacterial infection. They may also vary from mild to severe.
In case of viral pharyngitis, the symptoms include the following:
Patients suffering from bacterial pharyngitis usually present with the following features:
A complete history with thorough examination of the mouth, throat, nose, ears and lymph nodes in front of the neck is necessary. It is hard to differentiate between a viral and bacterial cause based on symptoms alone; however, Centor criteria is helpful in the diagnosis of streptococcal pharyngitis  .
The following investigations are necessary to establish the diagnosis.
The majority of time treatment is symptomatic. Specific treatments are effective for bacterial, viral and fungal infections.
Antibiotics: The treatment of choice for streptococcal pharyngitis is oral penicillin V (250mg) given 3 times daily for 10 days. This is helpful if bacterial infection is the cause of sore throat . Antibiotics have no effect for a viral infection. Non-compliant patients may be given a single intramuscular injection of benzathine penicillin G, which provides adequate penicillin levels for 10 days. The usual dose is 600,000 units for children weighing less than 25 kg and 1,200,000 units for children weighing 25 kg or more.
Penicillin-allergic patients may be given any of the several alternative antibiotics:
If the patient has had three or more documented infections within 6 months, consider daily penicillin prophylaxis during the winter season.
Analgesics: They help reduce soreness of the throat. Most effective analgesics include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and acetaminophen.
Steroids: They are helpful in severe pharyngitis. Dexamethasone is often used for this purpose.
There can be infectious or non-infectious causes of pharyngitis.
Acute pharyngitis is an oropharyngeal infection. The disease most commonly spreads via contact with infected individuals and droplet infection. The infectious agents may be bacterial, viral or fungal in nature .
Viral: These comprise about 40-60% of all the infectious cases. The different kinds of viruses include:
Bacterial: The different kinds of bacteria include:
Streptococcal pharyngitis is one of the most common respiratory infections of the childhood. The disease is uncommon under the age of 1 year. The peak incidence occurs in children between the age of 5 and 15 years. Pharyngitis in children younger than 2 years of age is often viral. The incidence is higher in the winter and early spring. It is estimated that it affects more than 1.9 million people a year.
The following are the known ways of preventing pharyngitis.
Pharyngitis is the inflammation of the pharynx commonly caused by upper airway infection. The disease can be acute or chronic. In most of the cases, it is quite painful and results in enlarging of the tonsils which cause trouble in swallowing or even in breathing. Due to systemic infection, it may also be associated with cough and fever. Pharyngitis can be viral or bacterial. The most common and clinically significant bacterial cause of acute pharyngitis are group A beta-hemolytic streptococci.
Pharyngitis is the inflammation of the throat (pharynx). Pharyngitis is most often caused by viruses, but can also result from bacterial infection. The main symptom is a dry and sore throat. Other common symptoms include fever, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, cough, headache, pain in the ears and hoarseness. The treatment depends on the cause.